Energy labels explained Tumble dryer energy labels

Tumble dryers

Most tumble dryers are C-rated for energy efficiency - but A and B-rated models are available

Tumble dryers have come a long way since they first appeared in Which? 50 years ago. Modern machines have super-quick drying times, larger drum sizes, with some now achieving A- and B-ratings for energy efficiency.

That said, some tumble dryers remain on the energy-guzzling side, and most models score a C-rating for energy efficiency under the EU labelling system.

Energy ratings for tumble dryers

Electric tumble dryers are given a rating between A+++ for the most efficient, and G for the least efficient appliances. The rating is determined using a standardised test where each product is measured for its energy use during a cotton drying cycle.

In 2012, energy labels were introduced for gas tumble dryers.

On the labels you'll also find symbols showing annual energy consumption (in kwh), the type of dryer, the cycle time (of the standard cotton program, with a full load, in minutes), its capacity (in kg) and the noise emission (in decibels).

Tumbledryer label adhoc

Tumble dryers are now rated up to A+++ for energy efficiency

We've got more information on and the different types of tumble dryers to choose from - including gas tumble dryers, which cost less to run than electric models.

How Which? tests tumble dryer efficiency

In the past, we've found that energy labels don't always give the full picture. The energy class of an electric tumble dryer also depends on which cotton program the manufacturer selects for the test - which might be the most energy efficient - but not necessarily the most typically used - program.

We aim to make our own energy consumption ratings more realistic. They're done using four different programs and reveal bigger differences between models than the energy labels do. 

You can use the compare features and prices tool in our tumble dryers review to search for models with a running costs rating of four stars or more. This indicates the tumble dryer scored well overall for energy efficiency, and should cost you less to run.

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